I arrived to uni way early today so I'm starting a topic.
I thought I'd share my thoughts that were floating around my head on the underground. (Yes, this is the sort of things I think about on the underground)
First a story from Copenhagen (the capital of Denmark). Basically a kid that had done perhaps too many drugs was staggering around the street before eventually falling over during his hazy moments and banged his head on the kirb. He wasn't seriously hurt. But he looked a mess. A druggy kid lying in the gutter with blood on his head. The police arrived at the scene and checked to make sure his injury wasn't serious and it turned out it was more of a graze than a real injury, and gently escorted him to their police car.
Now an american tourist nearby asked him what they were going to do with him. They said they were going to take him home, and that they think he was in good need of sleeping in his bed. He asked if the kid was in trouble and the police replied "yes, with his father, but not with us, we're all young and stupid sometimes ni our life" and that was the end of the issue.
I bring this story (true story) to illustrate a point. How many of us can honestly say that we would have gotten such an understanding police force where we live? It's not like Copenhagen is a dangerous place, 6 murders a year on average, and the biggest crime is people stealing unlocked bikes. Plus it seems like when there is something wrong the police are generally quite tolerant.
So I started pondering (while staring at the lady opposite me who I would like to assume was thinking, "my my, what a hansome young man it is that is gracing me with a glance my way (though was more realistically just gripping tightly onto her tazor)) whether or not it's the rules society creates that cause people to rise to meet them. Or if it's the rules rising to meet the people.
On first thought common sense says "well that's obvious! We make rules to stop people doing things they shouldn't be doing!" But well evidence seems to be obvious. In the states they have obscenely vigourous drugs laws. Most people end up doing longer sentences for drug dealing than for murder (shocking I know!) Yet the drugs industry thrives in the states better than any country in Europe. In the UK we have some of the stronger censorship laws of the western world. Though per 1000 people the UK spends more on sexual items than most of europe. The pattern is repeated everywhere. When the law is harsh on something, normally it's something that is common place there.
It's hard to say whether the law is so harsh on things because there is an issue. Or if people are just rebelling against what they feel is an obsurdly overly controlling system by over compensating.
To end this post I'll say I very much agree with the UKs policy of being more and more gentle on drugs related crime. People take a long time to adjust to big changes on their attitude to things. Gently over years easing up on the more mild drugs I think is wise. It will be interesting to see if with the police not being overbearing upon drugs whether (as in Holland). This overcompensating backlash amount of weed dealing slows.